I wrote about this on this here blog somewhere years ago...about craving to do some fiction-writing, but really struggling with it. I've made no real headway since then, but I've also not practiced much, and I know that to write better, one has to write at all.
In my Creative Writing class, I'm trying to do the writing I assign my students. Well, don't I feel sneaky: it's time to ask them to write some fiction, and I'm going to make it a flash fiction assignment, the only kind I can seemingly get my head around.
I watched an interesting video today, a Ted talk by Andrew Stanton, the film-maker behind Toy Story and Wall-E and Finding Nemo. I found it fascinating, and also somewhat frightening. Ok, not frightening. More like terrifying. Ok, not terrifying. But certainly not exactly inspiring. I mean, it IS inspiring (oh, for Pete's sake. I should just throw this over and go to bed). The speech is called "The Clues to a Great Story" and he lists a bunch of them, and I think they are really hard! And I think some of them are contradicted by other story-writing/story-telling gurus I know. But the speech is still interesting and compelling. I think I'm going to show it to my Creative Writing students and see what we all make of it.
And now that I'm thinking about it, the title is weird. "The Clues to a Great Story." Clues? I'm not sure I totally understand the meaning of this title. I mean, "The Steps," or "The Guidelines" or "Suggestions for" I could see. But "clues"? Possibly I'm just tired. Well, the talk is about story-telling, not title writing, so I should probably let it go.
I do like what he has to say about character, though, and about finding a character's spine--the thing that drives them, the wants that motivate them, even subconsciously. I'm intrigued by this. It might be my one big take-away.
Anyway, here's the video in case you are interested.